Whimsical Post #20: The validation of Professor Higgins

It was quite funny actually, though you need to have quite a wry and sardonic sense of humour (or simply, one like mine) to laugh at it when the initial feeling is of marked exasperation (well, mine was too). But that is the usual way of the human race, or to be more exact, a large part of it – the one giving to chattering on frivolous subjects – and quite loudly too – without any consideration to the present company or the surroundings.

By now, the discerning readers would have well gauged my target, which I, for the obvious reasons, would not like to name directly. But it is also time to go into specifics of the situation. As I sauntered into my workplace, the entire gang of members of this section was congregating at the feeding trough. If this was not bad enough – and I assure you the sight is horrendous, to say the least – the choice of conversation was equally horrific – tinseltown. I fail to understand why the topic can evoke such strong sentiments and why everyone should seek to inflict their deluded and irrelevant views in public. And me, sitting close to the gaggling group with just a partition in between, bore the brunt of it, though I guess there would have been many, bereft of my powers of patience and self-restraint, who would like Friedrich Thiemann in Nazi playwright Hanns Johst’s Schlageter have said: “When I hear the word (films).., I release the safety on my Browning!”

And the worse, when it is not this sorry issue, it is the equally ghastly topic of fashion, as applied to them.

Had it been something other issue – politics, or books, I could have understood. Had the same inconsequential debates of these topics taken place in their perfumed boudoirs during one of their interminable chat sessions, I would have understood. But why in a place of work and that too, in an institution where we seek to disseminate news and information judiciously to the general public, these people’s mentality seems – to me – to be markedly out of gear. But there you have it, there are so many issues to which I guess the almighty would have no answers or explanations to…..

However, reflecting on the issue later, I came to the conclusion that the actions of this gaggle of gagglers well prove the contentions of that gifted but irascible professor of linguistics and phonetics, as brought out by Alan Jay Lerner in the stage of film adaptions of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I do refer to Professor Henry Higgins, one of my most favourite characters in literature and one which I feel I have an affinity too. And I can count at least two of my frien, well acquaintances now seems a better word to use, who bestowed the name on me.  I consider it a signal honour…. sorry if your intention was otherwise.

I can well understand (and sympathise with) the good professor when he declaims: 

I’m a quiet living man,
Who prefers to spend the evening in the silence of his room,
Who likes an atmosphere as restful as an undiscovered tomb,
A pensive man am I, of philosophical joys,
Who likes to meditate, contemplate, far from humanities’ mad inhuman noise,
A quiet living man….
But, let a woman in your life, and your sabbatical is through,
In a line that never ends comes an army of her friends,
Come to jabber and to chatter
And to tell her what the matter is with YOU!…..

And I can’t resist this, though I must stress that this refers to the particular kind, not the whole of the class.

Why is thinking something women never do?
Why is logic never even tried?
Straight’ning up their hair is all they ever do.
Why don’t they straighten up the mess that’s inside?


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